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Otter & Oak invites you to explore our passion for fashion, community, and creativity. Our blog is a place to learn about our apparel lines, upcoming sales, and fashion tips.

Updated: Jul 8

Fashion is constantly evolving. Staying up to date with all the latest changes means keeping a keen eye on the hottest trends gracing the runways and the cover of magazines. Being fashion forward can be an exhausting goal that sometimes feels too unattainable to pursue. However, that doesn’t mean we should stop being our own trendsetters! Updating your wardrobe can be an exciting way to add a little flair into your daily routine. Here are the top four reasons why you should consider adding a few new pieces to your closet.

Fashionable Group

1. Change of seasons. The turn of the seasons is a perfect opportunity to boost your mood by incorporating some new additions to your upcoming rotation of looks. Grab everyone’s attention with a new durable winter jacket that fills you with confidence every time you make an entrance at a holiday function. Be photo ready at the pumpkin patch by accessorizing your fall looks with a simple scarf or toboggan. Embrace the warm weather of Spring and Summer with vibrant pastels or neons to brighten up your wardrobe and match the energy during the time of year when things start coming back to life!

Guy in Office

2. New job or promotion. New jobs can bring fresh beginnings. Start your new adventure on the right foot by sprucing up your office attire to make a perfect first impression. State your goals through your style by accentuating your existing looks to give off a more subdued or professional vibe to tell your new coworkers exactly who you are before you ever introduce yourself. Same job, new position? Mark it with a style evolution! Take cues from your new peers’ outfits and enhance your wardrobe by putting your own spin on it!


3. Drastic change in your size. Hitting the gym has been paying off with gains! Or losses! Reflect that with a style update. Pick pieces that accentuate your new figure and look flattering on your new and improved body. It’ll be great motivation every time you look in the mirror to remind yourself that you’re on track to achieve your fitness goals!

4. Just a pick-me up. Not having a reason is a good enough reason to shop for some new finds! You work hard for your money, you take pride in how you look, so why not treat yourself every once in a while? After all, you deserve it! Have fun with your wardrobe and wear the things that bring you joy and confidence!

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Updated: Apr 9

With Spring comes spring cleaning. And with spring cleaning comes the dreaded CLOSET CLEAN OUT. I’ve been researching this one for a while, not only for the purposes of this blog, but also because my own closet has become such a mess it has now infringes on the room. I just try not to make the mess angry enough to landslide down and attack me.

The Marie Kondo method of “When I hold this item, does it give me joy?” is a slippery slope for me. A swimsuit hasn’t given me joy since 1994, and yet, realistically, I need to own one. So, I knew I’d need to go with a more traditional approach.

Most of my research says the best way to begin is to pull everything out of your closet. Everything. Give the walls a good wipe down and vacuum the dark reaches of the floor. This is a good time to assess the space and ask yourself some hard questions.

messy closet

  • How much can you realistically keep?

  • How much of your wardrobe do you actually utilize?

  • Is there a more effective way to utilize the closet space you have?

At this point, you need to separate your items into three distinct piles: keep, trash, or donate/sell. While you’re going through these items, you should cull out clothing that no longer fits properly, free hats and t-shirts you will never wear, clothes you used to love but haven’t worn in years, and items you said you’d repair, but haven’t. Most articles say to get rid of anything you haven’t worn in 6 months. I disagree with that. I think a year sounds more reasonable. If you didn’t wear a sweater all last winter, odds are, you won’t wear it this winter. Get rid of it.

After you’ve gone through everything, it’s time to go back to your three key questions and reassess. Have you culled out enough to make an appreciable difference? Have you kept the staple pieces that serve your wardrobe needs most? Would additional shelving, wall hooks, or other organizers help you maintain order long term?

After you’ve answered these questions and have completed the modifications that will best maximize your space it’s time put the closet back together. You should do so with a plan in mind.

  • Hanging clothes together by season, cold weather clothes to one side, warm weather clothes to the other.

  • Making staple wardrobe pieces easy to find. I suggest putting them in the middle, separating hot and cold weather clothes.

  • Folding items (such as sweaters) and storing them in the dresser or on a shelf when possible, to save closet rod space.

  • Using wall hangers for belts and handbags, to keep them off the floor and make them easy to find.

piles of clothes to keep and discard

Getting your closet organized so you can find what you’re looking for in the morning, will hopefully prevent that mad morning rush. You may even have time to enjoy a leisurely second cup of coffee. Finally, something you can hold that brings you joy!

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Updated: Apr 9

It happens to me every Christmas shopping season. There are at least three people who are impossible to buy for! PERSON ONE is my mother, who has particular preferences about style and fit. (My husband tells me I fall into this category, too). PERSON TWO is my father, who buys what he needs or wants for himself, because it never occurs to him that in two weeks he will have three grown children and a wife racking their brains about what to get him! And then there is PERSON THREE. PERSON THREE is usually a person I don’t know very well, perhaps my child’s teacher, the person whose name I drew at work or neighbor that has watered your plants or fed your dog.

Honestly, I can’t help you much with gifts for person’s one and two. We can go have coffee and commiserate about trying to shop for them, but that’s all I have to offer there.

But for PERSON THREE, I have a list of “Go To” gifts that are usually very well received!

Baby Yoda Tervis Tumbler
  1. 1. A Hydro flask or a Tervis- Because most everyone can use a good, leak proof to go mug

  2. An umbrella- This is something most everyone needs at one time or another, but never bothers to buy for themselves

  3. A triple header USB Cable- At some point, this is something everyone will find very useful!

  4. A candle- You really can’t go wrong when buying a woman a candle

  5. A pair of Smartwool socks- Once you’ve worn Smartwool socks, all other socks pale in comparison

  6. A unique piece of artwork- A piece of original artwork ensures it’s something they don’t already have.

  7. An ENO Hammock and straps- Give the gift of relaxation with a hammock and the straps are easy to use so there’s no frustration setting it up

  8. Whiskey River Soap- These soaps are hilarious. They’re sure to make the person you’re buying it for chuckle.

  9. Bluetooth wallet- For the guy who is always losing his wallet.

  10. An Otter and Oak Gift Card- This is a last ditch effort for when you really have no idea what to get that hard to shop for person.

I hope you find one of these suggestions helpful if you have to buy a birthday gift for your brother’s new girlfriend, or a Christmas present for your cousin Fred. As to trying to find the perfect gift for your mom or dad… well, my offer for coffee and empathy still stands. ~Jackie Farley

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